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The formula for a long life

The formula for a long life

The formula for a long life

The syringe for a long life does not exist yet, but science can still boast a formula for a long life

The formula for a long life – who would not like to have them ?! Again and again, the idea of the longest possible life in books and films is taken up. Often, of course, with a “miracle cure” that practically miraculously prolongs our lives by ingesting it. It’s not that easy! The formula for a longer life starts with eliminating or minimizing risk factors that can shorten life. What do you mean with that?

We can extend our lifespan by up to 17 years, according to the impressive results of scientists at the DKFZ (German Cancer Research Center). The basis for this evaluation was data from the Heidelberg EPIC participants. EPIC is the pan-European study on the relationship between diet, lifestyle factors and cancer. For over half a million Europeans, lifestyle factors have been documented over the past 20+ years.

Each risk was taken care of by the DKFZ epidemiologists around Professor Rudolf Kaaks with a statistical year. This indicates by how many years the life expectancy of today’s forty-year-old decreases. The DKFZ looks after 25,540 study participants from the Heidelberg area.


Here, the consumption can be roughly differentiated into an amount of more or less than 10 cigarettes per day. So if a man smokes more than 10 cigarettes a day, his life expectancy is reduced by 9.4 years. Equal amount in women reduces the expected life by 7.3 years. With an amount of less than 10 cigarettes a day both lose on average about 5 years.


The BMI (body mass index) provides clues as to whether one is endangering a high body weight of his health. Obesity (obesity) leads to the loss of 3.1 years of life in men and 3.2 in women. But extremes are not good in one direction or the other. Underweight (BMI less than 22.5) reduces lifespan by 3.5 years in males and 2.1 years in females.


Consuming alcohol poses a challenge to the body. Excessive consumption of alcohol therefore not only has a harmful effect on health, but also reduces life expectancy. These statistics could only be collected for men. Heavy alcohol consumption of more than 4 drinks per day reduces the expected service life by 3.1 years.

Red meat

You are what you eat. Of course, that’s why it’s not surprising that certain foods can shorten their lifespan. High consumption of red meat costs men 1.4 years and women 2.4 years.

In sum, an obese, heavy smoker who drinks a lot of alcohol and consumes plenty of red meat loses 17 years of life expectancy. A woman with this behavior shortens her life expectancy by 13.9 years. In plain English: A 40-year-old man with a BMI between 22.5 and 24.9 who does not smoke, drinks a lot of alcohol, is physically active and has little red meat, but lots of fruits and vegetables, has a further life expectancy of 47 , 5 years. For women, this is even 48.7 years.


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